Peonies: the Queen of Flowers

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Blush Peonies

Lovely Ruffles

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The sweet ruffles of the peony petals are possibly one of my most favorite things.  Peonies are one of the most requested flower for weddings. They simply exude femininity and prettiness; and embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

Peonies are large, often sweetly fragrant flowers, ranging in color from deep burgundy, pink, white and yellow.  White peonies traditionally symbolize young girls who are distinguished mainly by their wit but also by their beauty. Peonies are great mass flowers and are admired for their natural composition

History of the Peony

The peony is significant both historically and mythologically, and thus is tied to many different meanings and symbols. Common meanings include romance, prosperity, good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, and compassion — but peonies can also mean bashfulness

Peonies in Art

Peonies are the traditional floral symbol of China, the state flower of Indiana, and the 12th wedding anniversary flower.  Peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor. 

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Peonies are often depicted in Chinese art as they are a symbol of peace, stability, distinction and wealth. As early as the 7th century It is also an omen of good fortune. Chinese peony paintings of are often hung in the home for good luck and in the office for good business.  The complementary of opposites is another traditional Chinese meaning associated with the peony which is often understood as a positive influence for woman and man living harmoniously together. The Chinese peony is an emblem of love and affection and is a symbol of feminine beauty. 

Peony General Information

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Availability – Peonies are available during late spring through early summer, peaking in June.  Burgundy peonies are available in November and December.

Vase Life – Approximately 5 days.  Peonies last much longer in fresh water than in foam.

Peonies are glorious flowers – so just enjoy!!!

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Myths of the Peony

There are two common myths about the peony. In one, the peony is believed to be named after Paeon, the Greek physician of the gods. According to the legend, Paeon was a student of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. When Paeon used a peony root to heal Pluto — the first time this was tried — Aesculapius became jealous of his talents and tried to kill him. To save Paeon (and show compassion to him), Pluto transformed him into a peony, because he knew it was a flower that people would admire and praise. Thus, one peony meaning is compassion.

In the other myth, the peony is tied to a nymph named Paeonia. Paeonia is beautiful and attracts the attention of Apollo, who begins to flirt with her. When Paeonia realizes that Aphrodite is watching them, she becomes bashful and turns bright red. In anger, Aphrodite transforms the nymph into a red peony. This is how the peony came to symbolize bashfulness.

As the first myth shows, peonies were valued for their medicinal uses. In ancient and medieval times their roots and seeds were believed to cure over twenty diseases including epilepsy and snake bites. In England, children wore peony root necklaces to prevent seizures and help teething pain.

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Lauren Dragon-Cook

Wedding Boss Life, 205 Sugar Maple Lane, Spofford, NH, 03462